Posted by Bebhinn Kelly
August 4, 2009
I studied international marketing and Languages at University and have always had a love of travelling and an interest in the global workplace. I was always a very independent person and always looked to successful women in business such as Anita Roddick ( Body shop founder) and Oprah for inspiration.
Just over a year ago, I left my job as Country Director for a publishing house (a role which involved a lot of travelling) in order to stay in Dubai.
I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion and I guess the closest I’ve come to rubbing shoulders with fashion royalty was at a fashion show in Dublin when I was a teenager in which Naomi Campbell modeled!
Shortly after I left my job I started to work on behalf of up and coming female designers looking to gain entry to the Middle East market. It was while working on their market entry strategies that the idea for www.hellwafashion.com came about.
Susan notes: this story by magazine and newspaper writer Charlotte Safavi originally appeared in The Washington Post (on July 19, 2009), and in The Huffington Post, for whom Safavi blogs, on July 24. Safavi says: "I rarely identify as Iranian, but suddenly the women in Tehran feel like my sisters."
You can visit her at www.charlottesafavi.com and follow her on Twitter.
"Mom, don't go. I'm worried."
My son R.J. knows exactly where I am headed -- and he is nervous.
"Honey, there's nothing to worry about," I reply. "People do this all the time in America."
Earlier, I had told him and my American husband that I planned to skip the Alexandria Little League picnic and instead attend a peaceful rally in downtown Washington. The demonstration had been organized in support of the protesters in Iran who were disputing the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A multicultural woman of Iranian parentage and British birth, I spent a few years of my childhood in Tehran, but attended the British School and identified more with my English peers than with my fellow Iranians. I immigrated to America in 1985 after graduating from Oxford and have been here ever since. Though I look the part (olive skin, dark hair and almond-shaped eyes), I rarely feel Iranian as I go about my daily life as a mother, writer and wife in Northern Virginia.
Today, however, I found myself uncharacteristically weeping over a YouTube video showing various clips of Iranian women protesting on the streets of Tehran. I did not expect to feel such kinship. But I was compelled to support them, even from a world away.
Posted by Sharon Monteiro
I had been working for twenty-five years and apart from the occasional trip to the beauty saloon, I never had time for myself.
Not happy with my current job, I decided to check the market and bagged a very good job. On my first day, (1st March 2008), on my way to work I was walking towards my pool car when I stopped dead in my tracks and decided that enough was enough.
I needed to look after my family and that would not be possible if I continued working in a 8 am to 6 pm daily office schedule, not forgetting the one hour drive to work and another one hour drive back from work.
To cut a long story short, I trained with the Coaches Training Institute in Knowledge Village, Dubai. During the six month training, we were taught to coach each other and invariably my desire to write a book kept coming up in our coaching sessions. One coach challenged me to start writing my book and much to his surprise, I did write the first draft within a month.
Posted by Sharon Montiero
June 20, 2009
My husband got an offer to open an International School in Port
Harcourt Nigeria. Although we surfed the web and spoke to a couple of
people in Port Harcourt, were not prepared for the signs of abject
poverty in Port Harcourt.
The shacks and ship containers that were home
to these people, the broken down cars on the side of the roads, the
long grass that had not been cut. The roads were lonely with pockets of
‘mopo’ (mobile police) who looked very scary. We wondered what had we
signed up for?
Posted by Diane Illingworth-Wilcox
June 14, 2009
From Experience With Love
, the project which, along with my two
daughters, is my life purpose, has its roots in my teenage years.
Like many teenagers I felt awkward and out of place. My body was changing, I had suddenly noticed boys, and I was supposed
to be thinking about how I wanted to contribute in the workforce. (Here I am at 13
also supposed to be “fitting in” with the people and ideas that
surrounded me. I had, and continue to have, a very close knit and
beautiful family, but at the time my parents were very traditional.
Their expectations of me were to be a “nice girl,” finish school and
become a teacher, nurse or be involved in another female-orientated
job. They hoped I would find a well-to-do gentlemen, get married and
start a family. My brothers, on the other hand, were to become
successful so that they could support their own wives and families.
There wasn’t anyone other than my mother, or the characters on
television or in movies, who I could really look to for advice or to be
my role models.